Budgets push enterprise to hosted IP telephony

Hosted IP telephony and VoIP services are hot and likely to continue to grow as small- to medium-sized enterprise customers look for more budget-conscious telecom solutions, says a new report from Research and Markets. "North American Hosted IP Telephony and VoIP Access Service Markets 2008" looks at end-user, competitive and tech trends in the U.S. and Canada.

The recent boom in IP PBX has helped open the market as end-users have had a broader choice. Among the benefits being touted: 

  • reduced capex-especially as the credit markets continue to struggle to recover from the subprime contagion that's devastated them;
  • the ability to upgrade to new software as it becomes available without all the headaches of upgrading in house;
  • the ability to change services as business needs evolve; and
  • being able to integrate unified communications without increasing staffing.

But, R&M points out, all is not hearts and flowers. Early adopter enterprise, burned by reliability and quality issues, remain skeptical, and E911 compliance issues with VoIP remain as stumbling blocks.
"A number of hosted IP telephony vendors have had to scale back on their deployments during the period 2006 to 2007 in order to address service quality issues," writes R&M. Nonetheless, says R&M, "The increase in hosted IP telephony revenues is expected to be driven by both the rising demand for outsourced telephony as well as the increase in average monthly revenue per user, as organizations subscribe to premium features such as fixed-mobile convergence and auto-attendant capabilities."

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